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Thursday Nov 30, 2023   
The hydro outlook got a lifeline over the holiday weekend as after several weeks with increasingly dry forecasts, a weather system moved into the 10-day forecast that should deliver some much-needed precipitation to the region.  The water is still a day away, but starting Friday and lasting through the middle of next week the Northwest should see eastern Washington and northern Idaho down through the Lower Snake in southern Idaho received precipitation at 150% of normal or more.  The area west of the Cascades is expected to get slammed as usual, but even Canada will be in the mix with blue and green coloration extending into BC in the crucial areas that determine flows into BC Hydro’s large storage projects and then down into the Columbia main stem.  Figure 1 | 10-Day ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 29, 2023   
Last November was marked by colder than normal weather in both California and the Pacific Northwest. The cold, along with a low hydro year and other factors, led to chaos in the natural gas market and concern over natural gas storage levels in California. This November shaped up quite differently. Temperatures have been mostly above normal in the Golden State, outside of a bit of chill this past week. The figure below shows California’s cumulative HDDs for November and December since 2017. The current year sits at a similar level to 2018 and 2021 while last year was by far the coldest in the seven year period. Figure 1 | Cumulative Monthly HDDs for November and December in California (2017-2023) In addition to the weather, there has been several changes to the supply stack with the ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 28, 2023   
The past couple of days have delivered the coldest temperatures of the 2024 winter season year-to-date where the Midwest is looking at single digit overnight lows with highs in the upper teens.  If you move further south, the Plains are quite chilly along with the Texas Panhandle and the metro parts of Dallas/Fort Worth.  The colder weather has pulled back on the wind generation in both SPP and ERCOT over the past couple of days but that is about to change as warmer temperatures and a shift in the jet stream will couple less power demand with more wind generation on average across the entire day. Figure 1 | SPP Net Load Profile - Hourly There will be moments where the wind volume dips down to create a more pronounced net load value but the periods are minimal and intraday ... » read more
Monday Nov 27, 2023   
The NYMEX session the prompt month is down twelve pennie, which puts the December 2023 contract at  $2.74 as we enter the heart of bid week. The weather has turned since the holiday as the warm air mass that was centered over Alberta is migrating into the Midcon and Midwest later this week. Average temperatures in Chicago are going to climb from 28 to 40 degrees while the Ohio Valley and Northeast are going to follow suite. The further south you go, the trend is for the warmer weather to gather quicker and hold throughout the 6-10 and 11-15 day period.  All this is going to impact the The Lower 48 rescom demand numbers as they fall from 40 BCF to 33 BCF by Friday.  Figure 1 | Forecasted HDD Changes from Thursday to Sunday Nov 26 From a net load ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 22, 2023   
It’s been a warm November so far in Alberta. The figure below shows cumulative HDDs for October through December so far this year compared to the last 6 years. Including the forecast that extends through the end of the month, this November will come to around 950 cumulative HDDs for Alberta. That’s the warmest November on the board and well below last year’s total of 1327. However, this November hasn’t been without its challenges for the region. In this blog, we’ll look at the year-on-year changes using figures from our daily Alberta Power Pool Supply Demand Dashboard. Figure 1 | Cumulative HDDs in Alberta for October – December (2017 – 2023) With the warmer November temperatures, overall demand for Alberta is down compared to last year. The ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 21, 2023   
The drive along the only road that connects the airport to West Maui takes you past three diesel-fired generator stacks along with a row of wind turbines that make a line up the mountainside.  The white cap water movement gives you an indication of what is brewing when it comes to the wind direction as magnitude while the car ride around the windy road is more hands on to what type of weather conditions are in play on a given day. Figure 1 | Renewable Islands? The wind seems to be in play by the car movement, palm trees swaying and the race to the beaches where the local surfing members gather to catch a wave or two throughout the day.  What is ironic is that when you look up towards the wind turbines most of them are at a stand-still while the exhaust can be seen coming from ... » read more
Monday Nov 20, 2023   
For many, this is a time of year where the annual Turkey Trot is in play or that Pre-Turkey Day meal of a “friendly” neighborhood flag football game in the friendly confines of an elementary school playground grassy area.  For the energy sector, it is a week that symbolizes the transition between the start of the Winter Season to that of living it as December is right around the corner. Figure 1 | Turkey Day and the Official Start of Winter In years past, this period has delivered a wide range of weather events where some have tied blistering cold to the northern portion of North America or in the case of 2022, delivered a blow out West that pushed SoCal Citygate cash prices over the $50 level with many days trading north of $20.00.  Other years display a balminess ... » read more
Friday Nov 17, 2023   
Earlier this November, the Washington State Department of Ecology announced the preliminary decision to pursue the linkage of the Washington carbon market with the California/Quebec carbon market. Crucially, for linkage to occur, Washington must sync up its handling of imports such that they are consistent with the way that California handles imports. The problem is that the way that Washington handles imports is very messy (the 8 scenarios covering what counts as an importer may be found here), and many of the balancing authorities (BAs) that extend into Washington serve multiple states. Imports may be tracked through NERC e-tags. NERC e-tags track the flow of power from balancing authority to balancing authority, not within balancing authorities. Of course, this will cause difficulties ... » read more
Thursday Nov 16, 2023   
Last week in our Tuesday blog post we wrote about the start of the fall Chum operations on the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest.  This is an operation that takes place each year at the start of November and is designed to support spawning for salmon returning to the lower portions of the Columbia River in their annual run.  The operation itself is focused on maintaining water levels on the Lower Columbia within a given range to make sure fish are able to travel to certain spawning grounds as well as ensure that their eggs are laid in a location that will make it possible for river operations throughout the winter to keep them covered with water.  This season there was some excitement tied to the fall chum operation given the very low flows throughout the hydro system ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 15, 2023   
 As winter approaches, it’s vital that the supply stack is healthy in preparation for increased heating demand. One source of supply is running slightly behind schedule. The start of November usually marks a sharp decline in nuclear outages as regular maintenance wraps up. The first 11 days of the month this year, however, saw an upward trend to nuclear outages. Total US nuclear outages jumped over 18.5 GW this past weekend. That’s 4.2 GW higher than the same day last year and more than 7 GW higher than the same day in 2021. By Tuesday, total outages were down to 14.5 GW. This is still more than 2.4 GW higher than last year and 4.5 GW higher than the year before. Figure 1 | Total Nuclear Plant Outages MW As we reported in a recent blog, this year’s planned fall ... » read more
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